Back The distance from the moon to the earth was just too far away for NASA scientists to see the details of the earth's surface. While scientists learned a lot about the earth from these missions to the moon, the trips were not designed to take pictures of the earth.

In order to get really good pictures of the earth's surface they needed to be closer to the earth. NASA decided to build a special satellite that contained a new camera designed to just take pictures of the earth.

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